Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira ‘greens’ up a school [photos]

Husqvarna SA, together with ex-Springbok rugby player Tendai Mtawarira and his wife Kuziva, recently rallied together to ‘green’ the spaces at Salt Rock’s Sizani School.

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When Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira’s sponsor Husqvarna South Africa had the idea for a social development project, the Mtawarira’s pre-existing relationship with Sizani School, situated in the heart of Salt Rock (a small town just north of Ballito and Shaka’s Rock on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal), offered a natural synergy.

‘Green’ the school’s outdoor spaces

“Following the outbreak of the world’s recent health pandemic, people are worried about two main things,” explains Mtawarira’s wife, Kuziva, alluding to some of Sizani’s challenges; “getting food on the table and being healthy.”

Kuziva, who has a background in counselling psychology and a shared passion with Tendai for empowering children, had identified Sizani’s needs early on, and her comments set the scene for what promises to be an extraordinary relationship between the key role players.

Husqvarna – a leading global brand in outdoor power products for the forestry, commercial, and domestic garden and lawn industries – promptly initiated a holistic plan to ‘green’ the school’s outdoor spaces, and build a sustainable vegetable garden. 

Regional marketing manager for Husqvarna Africa, Jenna Robinson, said that: “As a global business with access to information that helps educate people about our environment, along with the tools to manage green spaces and the need to support our communities, made this the perfect collaboration.”

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Ongoing support.

Over the years, Sizani has grown from 150 to 900 learners, stretching resources to the limit, which is precisely why Husqvarna has committed to achieving long-term outcomes and will offer ongoing support.

“Growing vegetable gardens, knowing the importance of access to fresh food for many who receive one meal a day, means we believe the project benefits are beyond just monetary investment,” adds Robinson.   

The total value of the sponsorship is almost R120 000, with Husqvarna providing equipment and training time, a generator, and other essential items. Collaborative sponsors like Future Life is providing over 9 000 meals, while Starke Ayres donated the vegetable garden starter kits, and Tdmc donated face masks for the scholars.

Principal Ntombenhle July, who has dedicated her entire career to Sizani School having served there for three decades, notes that Sizani can only succeed with the support of the community.

“This will make such a difference to the students, the educators and the parents of Sizani, and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed,” she adds.

She cites access to water as an additional hurdle, and one which this project could help solve. The school still requires many resources, and the Mtawarira family are calling on the community for help.

The Beast Foundation

The event also served as a springboard for the Mtawarira’s new endeavour, The Beast Foundation, which will soon be gaining momentum in its efforts to offer physical and mental upliftment to children, using the medium of sport.

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